Wednesday 22 July 2015

Double Dragon (Atari Lynx review)

Developer: Knight Technologies
Publisher: Telegames
Released: 1993

Double Dragon is a side-scrolling beat-em-up game that first launched in the Arcades in 1987.

You play the role of Billy Lee who is on a mission to rescue a girl called Marian from the Black Warriors gang. All four of the original's levels are present although they've been scaled back for the handheld. The in-game weapons include a bat, knife and whip and unlike the NES version you can actually carry them throughout the level. This is handy as the baseball bat in particular does some serious damage and it's useful when you're surrounded as it knocks down enemies in one hit. Picking weapons up can be problematic though as you need to be positioned perfectly - not the easiest thing to do in the heat of battle! The action is slow and it feels like you're wading through treacle at times. Many times when you're punching your character will just randomly stop responding during a combo and it leaves you wide open to a sucker punch. Like the NES port there's still a major problem with enemies interrupting your combos and instead of being stunned they'll start attacking you out of nowhere so it can feel a bit cheap. Each enemy seems to take forever to beat and the already slow action starts to become very monotonous after a while. Your character's jump is extremely floaty and even if you manage to land a flying kick the enemy will be back on his feet before you've even reached the ground! At the end of each level you'll face a boss but to be honest I didn't even realise I was fighting one as they look like regular enemies. The camera is too zoomed in for my liking and it makes the levels lack any personality as you can't properly see your surroundings. The graphics look fantastic with huge, chunky sprites and some good animation. The music is weak though and sounds haphazard.

Double Dragon on the Atari Lynx is a classic case of style over substance. It might hook you in with its amazing graphics but they count for nothing when the gameplay is so weak and unpolished.

Random trivia: Telegames officially published seven other Atari Lynx games including Qix (1991), Desert Strike (1993) and Super Off Road (1993).

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